Swedish Impact on Stanley Cup PlayoffsMay 11, 2017
The Stanley Cup playoffs are down to four teams, each of which boast at least three Swedes on its roster.
As Nashville and Anaheim prepare to battle in the Western Conference final, and Pittsburgh and Ottawa face off in the Eastern Conference final, we take a look at the key Swedes to watch for each team.
It all revolves around Erik Karlsson, one of the best defensemen in the sport. Karlsson has scored twice and assisted on 11 other goals in leading the Senators past Boston and the New York Rangers. He’s averaging nearly 29 minutes of ice time per postseason game, highest among players of the four remaining teams. Oh, and he’s doing it all while playing with two fractures in his heel. Karlsson is a finalist for the Norris Trophy.
Patric Hornqvist is becoming known for his intense play, as documented in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. But the forward also is a key cog in the Penguins’ machine, scoring the first goal in Pittsburgh’s Game 4 win over the Capitals and an insurance goal in the clinching Game 7. He’s totaled seven points (four goals, three assists) in the postseason and has tallied more than 20 goals in four straight seasons.
Filip Forsberg topped 30 goals for the second straight season, and his contributions continue to be felt in the postseason, where he has scored three goals and assisted on five others. Two of those goals came in Game 3 of the Predators’ sweep of the Chicago Blackhawks.
With all due respect to center Rickard Rakell (six goals, four assists in postseason), we highlight wing Jakob Silfverberg, who also has been red-hot with seven goals and four assists. He came up big by scoring the game-winning goal in Game 4’s 4-3 overtime win over Edmonton, then helped beat the Oilers with two assists in Game 5’s double-overtime thriller.